Digging out from a major winter storm

New Haven Police Set Checkpoints to Deter Travel

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013  |  Updated 11:30 AM EDT
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New Haven city workers are trying to clear snow from city streets after a record 34 inches fell between Friday and Saturday and local police are setting up check points to discourage non-essential travel in the city.

There is a travel advisory in effect and police said they have set up four entry points to New Haven to prevent impediments to intensive snow removal efforts, police said.

"Staying home will let us do our job better," Police Chief Dean Esserman said during a news conference on Monday morning. "We need people to stay home. There is no public parking downtown and the roads are bad."

Mayor John DeStefano said over the weekend that it could be at least a couple of days until side streets are reached.

The biggest challenge has been getting around abandoned cars in the road, DeStefano said.

Esserman said he wanted to thank New Haveners for their response to the massive storm.

Residents have been staying home, helping each other and even helped push a few police cars that were stuck.

This has allowed police to do their jobs, drive doctors and nurses to work, bring dialysis patients to appointments and help other emergency departments do their job as well.

"We've been helping old ladies get home. We've been making gun arrests," Esserman said.

As of Sunday afternoon, the city’s department of public works had 40 trucks out plowing, as well as 15 payloaders.

A statement from the city said the main arterial roads are passable and crews were working on making secondary streets passable.

The National Guard joined New Haven's storm clean-up efforts around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and even one of their Humvees got stuck, according to the mayor. We have to use payloaders to clear the streets enough that the plows can get by.

A statement from the mayor’s office on Sunday warned that cars that are parked and obstructing street passage will be tagged and towed.

He said he hopes to have at least 95 percent of streets passable on Tuesday morning.

"It's going to take a while to clean up still. What we consider passable at this point is going to be one lane down a street, and that's not acceptable by most of us under any circumstance, but (that's) what we're trying to get to by mid-day tomorrow," DeStefano said on Monday.

If your car is one of them, you can call the city’s tow clerk at 203-946-6316.

For the latest storm update, you can call 203-946-SNOW (7669.)

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